By Nadav Avni, CMO of Radix Technologies
From the automated teller machine and the grocery store point of sale (POS) to the digital billboard above our heads, COSU devices add color and convenience to our daily routines. Maintaining these devices can prove tricky without the proper device management software.
Also known as dedicated devices, COSUs are fully managed computer-powered hardware built for a specific purpose. Unlike your typical do-it-all smartphones, tablets, and PCs, a COSU unit only functions for a singular purpose. Technically, it can perform other tasks. But, due to the nature of its function, you can only use the device for its intended purpose. Free from the distractions of running other applications and performing other processes, COSUs do their singular jobs well.
There are two types of COSU devices: employee-facing and customer-facing. Employee-facing devices consist of specialty equipment carried or operated by workers trained for that function. Think electronic cash registers, tablets carried by delivery service guys, or even warehouse scanners.
Customer-facing devices consist of two sub-types. Some COSUs don’t require additional input after the initial setup, such as electronic billboards and digital signage displays. Then, there are self-service devices that require customers to operate. These include ATMs, information kiosks, and self-service registration or ordering booths.
Managing COSU Devices
Needless to say, dedicated hardware requires special device management software. After all, companies can commission a fleet of COSU devices from a few dozen to thousands. Employee-facing units are typically deployed to on-site workers in commercial areas or factory floors and field workers like delivery drivers or roving sales agents. Owners position customer-facing COSU units in strategic locations where customers can interact with them.
Maintaining these devices can prove tricky without the proper device management software. For one, physically traveling to perform services for each unit is impractical and costly. Then, there’s the matter of installing apps and performing updates, repairs, and rollbacks. When dealing with hundreds or thousands of fleet devices, you’ll need a reliable device manager to get the job done efficiently and effectively.
Ideal Device Management Software Features
Most COSU devices come with default device management software that handles the basic management and maintenance. However, most of these throw-in solutions use older legacy protocols that are not as efficient as modern software. To maximize your COSU units’ utilization, ensure they run the latest system software versions and carry the latest updates for their applications.
At the same time, the ideal device manager should work with fleets that feature devices running on different operating systems. For many firms, a device-agnostic management approach works best, since they utilize older devices and encourage BYOD (bring your own device) policies among their users. Look for reliable device management software with these key functions:
Provide Cloud-Based Remote Accessibility
With a COSU fleet dispersed across large areas, you’ll need to connect to each device remotely to perform management and maintenance services. At this point, a secure and encrypted connection is the only way to guarantee the efficient delivery of services while data remains secure.
The ideal device manager should utilize a cloud-based system via reliable connectivity platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). This ensures secure and encrypted end-to-end data transmission from the administrator device to each COSU unit deployed in the field. The tools and files stored in the cloud make downloading and transferring the data much easier and faster.
Perform Low-Level COSU Device Management
With the promise of a secure connection, IT administrators should have no problem connecting to one or all fleet COSU units to perform low-level device management services. The best device management software monitors and maintains devices without human intervention on the COSU device side. This way, updates can be performed when device usage is at its lowest.
Admins can schedule programs to automatically connect and update the operating system (OS) and application software automatically. They can also perform the services on individual devices, selected batches, or the entire fleet.
Assign User Access Levels for Different Stakeholders
COSU management software recognizes different stakeholders within the company have different requirements when connecting to each device. For instance, administrators and IT team members need access to system software and settings to perform the necessary updates and repairs.
Meanwhile, sales, marketing, and executive users gather the collected usage data to gain insights into how clients interact with their devices. Finance officers want access to customer data to determine which subscriptions are active and which have expired. Finally, end users will need limited access to the device and permission to use it for specific COSU purposes.
Managing all these users requires placing them into groups classified by access levels. With the proper device management solution, assigning and managing stakeholder access becomes an easy, manageable process.
Protect Devices and Data Through Strong Security Measures
COSU devices aren’t immune to theft, vandalism, and even hacking. Because most units are out in the field, they become easy targets for curious or malicious people. These COSU devices can fall prey to damage, data loss, or outright theft without strong security features.
Protecting data is a serious concern, as many companies require devices that comply with international data privacy protection guidelines such as GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, and CPPA.
The ideal device manager should have the basic means to prevent unauthorized access to the device’s contents. In addition, the software should remotely perform geolocation to determine if all units are where they’re supposed to be. When admins find any device outside their designated area, they can choose two options. First, they can disable the unit remotely to prevent further use. Or, they can erase the contents of the device completely to prevent data theft. The same geolocation feature can help security services track and recover any missing devices.
To Maximize the Utilization of COSU Units, Use Reliable Device Management Software
COSU devices are helpful hardware that performs very specific tasks. Since companies usually deploy these units in the field, managing the entire fleet will require dedicated software solutions. Instead of depending on default solutions, consider a reliable, all-in-one solution to manage better and maintain your device fleet. This way, you can maximize each COSU device’s utilization and generate a better return on investment.